France is White, Britain Red (and a note about Burkas)

Or brown.  The buildings in London and much of the rest of Britain are built with red or brown brick.  OK, I will give you that the John Nash houses are white.  And yes, there is Buckingham Palace and Whitehall.  But there is also St James Palace and Harrods and most buildings on Kensington High Street.  And the mewses.  All brick.

And as our train whipped through the south of Britain to Dover and the Chunnel, again I saw that brown reddish brick used extensively.

I missed Paris.

And when we emerged from the Chunnel, oh the French countryside and the white farmhouses.  And the buildings in Paris.  Lovely.

Just down the street from me, a building has emerged from the scaffolding that has been there since I returned in May.  The routine required cleansing.  I have heard every 7 years, every 10 years and even every 20.  I am not sure what, but the buildings stay pretty fresh.  I have photos take in 1960 of Notre Dame where it appears to be black.  Since my regular visits starting in 2007, it’s been white!  Or pretty white.  Hmm.  That’s 10 years and I haven’t seen scaffolding on it… so it must be more than 10 years for the cleaning.

Oh.  A note on burkas. I say this because I saw more in London than I see in Paris.

People get this confused all the time.  This is a great site with pictures.



The hijab is the scarf that covers the hair and neck.

The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.

The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving just a mesh screen to see through.

I mention it because I saw many Niqabs in London.  I was surprised.  And several women wearing Hijabs had a surgical masks on.  I wasn’t sure if it was for pollution or to have the impact of a niqab but be more acceptable to the public.  (I see Chinese tourists in Paris with those surgical masks… )

In France I do see the hijab.  But the burka is illegal in France.  I guess the niqab is not.  Several other Europeans countries have joined the French.  Apparently not the UK.  Although I guess a school can make it illegal.   I won’t start on my personal opinions re feminism and these outfits.  But I will say in this day of terrorism, I am ill at ease with the burka, jiqab and chador in public settings.


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